When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Russia

Facing Demographic Woes, Russia Struggles To Lure Ex-Pats Home

A program started in 2006 offers benefits to lure back home the Russians who left as the Soviet Union was crumbling. But the price to get the top qualified emigres to return is apparently more than Moscow can afford.

Russian signs on a pharmacy in Brooklyn, NY (Violette79)
Russian signs on a pharmacy in Brooklyn, NY (Violette79)

*NEWSBITES

MOSCOW – Over the past two decades, Russia has been hit by a demographic double whammy: an overall burst of emigration that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as a more recent and concentrated brain drain that has sapped the country of some of its best qualified students and highly skilled workers who have left to seek opportunities abroad.

Desperate to get back some of this human power back home, Moscow put in place a government program five years ago that was specifically aimed to lure expatriates back to Russia. The state would pay for transportation, offer an installation grant and guarantee jobs and housing if emigres came back to the motherland.

But, as the Migration Ministry has recently found out, a free plane ticket and a bit of startup cash has not managed to convince many Russian ex-pats to return.

Expected to attract 300,000 returnees per year, the program has had just 61,000 adherents since beginning in 2006. The majority of them come from former Soviet republics, such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, although a government spokesperson insisted that the program has attracted participants from farther-flung countries, like the United States and Bolivia.

Russia's population did stop declining in 2009, but the resettlement program still does not offset the Russians who emigrate every year. In 2010, a total of 29,900 people gave up their Russian citizenship after emigrating, and while there are no specific statistics on the number of Russians who emigrate without giving up their citizenship, migration experts say the number is between 100,000 and 150,000 per year.

Part of the problem, say experts, is that the program only makes sense for people who left as refugees, and for those who were already set to return to Russia. Of course, and unfortunately for Russia, very few of the returning emigrants are the highly-qualified individuals that everyone wants to attract.

Read the full article in Russian by Andrei Kozenko

Photo - Violette79

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

It's Not About Mussolini, Searching For The Real Giorgia Meloni

As the right-wing coalition tops Italian elections, far-right leader of the Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, is set to become Italy's next prime minister. Both her autobiography and the just concluded campaign help fill in the holes in someone whose roots are in Italy's post-fascist political parties.

Giorgia Meloni at a political rally in Palermo on Sept. 20.

Alessandro Calvi

-Analysis-

ROME — After Sunday’s national election results, Italy is set to have its first ever woman prime minister. But Giorgia Meloni has been drawing extra attention both inside and outside of the country because of her ideology, not her gender.

Her far-right pedigree in a country that invented fascism a century ago has had commentators rummaging through the past of Meloni and her colleagues in the Brothers of Italy party in search of references to Benito Mussolini.

But even as her victory speech spoke of uniting the country, it is far more useful to listen to what she herself has said since entering politics to understand the vision the 45-year-old lifelong politician has for Italy’s future.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ